3DBaz– During the Informal Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Competitiveness, one of several events related to the Slovak presidency of the EU Council in Bratislava, the ministers for economic affairs of the EU member states discussed future steps of the European Union. Their intention was to strengthen the investment ecosystem in the technology sector and to develop qualified workforce in order to accelerate the development and application of new technologies in Europe.
3D printing was recognized as a key technology in the digital economy, “illustrating the magnitude and the speed of the current industrial revolution as well as highlighting the opportunities and challenges stemming from it”. Following an invitation from the Slovak ministry of economy, the Austrian startup XIONEER systems presented their patented 3D printing system, challenging existing solutions on the market in terms of price and performance by re-inventing and perfecting extrusion-based 3D printing. The EU ministers were impressed by the output quality and by the potential of this technology, as it paves the way for rapid multi-material prints, therefore speeding up the development and manufacturing of new products.In the context of the meeting, the CEO of XIONEER systems, Dr. Andrei Neboian, suggested measures to encourage the spreading of this technology as well as to ensure fair competition in the 3D printing market, by providing dedicated academic education programs, more financial support for research and development, binding quality standards for the 3D printing industry, clear rules for dealing with intellectual property, as well as trainings and incentives for applying 3D printing, especially in small and medium-sized enterprises. It remains to be seen whether and when these measures will be turned into actual policies.